5 Democrats chosen for November

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ST. CROIX - Five Democratic candidates in the primary election will move forward to compete for seats on the boards of Elections in each district.

On St. Croix, the three candidates who will move forward are current members Raymond Williams and Rupert Ross Jr., along with first-time aspirant Barbara Jackson-McIntosh.

They will face off in the General Election in November for the three available seats, along with current board Chairman Adelbert Bryan and Epiphane Joseph, who made a good showing but was unsuccessful in the 2012 election when he first campaigned for a seat on the board.

Following the announcement of the unofficial results Saturday night, Jackson said she was thankful that she has made it past the first hurdle and thanked the many voters she met as she campaigned.

"I've gotten out there and met the people, heard their concerns and asked them for their vote to help make a difference," she said. "I didn't take their vote for granted, and what I want to see now is for us to at least start a dialogue on election reform."

Election reform is also a top concern for veteran board member Williams. He said he recently attended an academic training on behalf of the board and has many new ideas to share.

"I want to bring all of these ideas forward and bring more transparency to the board as well as put the board in a position to perform at a greater level," he said.

Williams said the board had quite a number of hiccups during Saturday's primary election, and he said he believes that the newness in the system and on the board may have contributed.

"We had a new supervisor, new deputies in both districts, and this was the first election for three of our board members," he said. "Heading towards the General Election, we expect things to be smoother, and I'm hoping to continue to serve the people to my best."

As the senior board member, Ross said he was thankful that despite the rain and high winds the voters turned out to the polls

"I've done what I have always done and that is to work on the behalf of the people," he said. "I've used my knowledge and experience to do the people's business and keep distractions from becoming a factor."

On St. Thomas, Carla Joseph and Maurice Donovan Jr. garnered the top votes of the three candidates who were seeking seats in that district. Only one vote separated the two on the machine tally, with Joseph pulling 995 votes and Donovan edging her out with 996 votes.

Both were unavailable for comment following the election.

They will go up against five additional candidates for the three available seats on the board come the General Election in November, as sitting board members Wilma Marsh-Monsanto, Claudette Georges and At-large member Harry Daniel, from St. John have opted not to seek re-election to the board as their terms expire.

- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email fstokes@dailynews.vi.

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